Seven ways to stop being an asshole on Cinco de Mayo.

...the second in the series of "ways to stop being an asshole".  This piece addresses the Dos and Don'ts of celebrating Cinco de Mayo. With these simple steps, I think you can also glean an an understanding of how to approach other cultural holidays in America as well.

  1. Mistake Cinco de Mayo as Mexican Independence Day.
  2. Argue with people who inform you that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. You're wrong and you look really really silly arguing with someone about it. na-a-ah...
  3. Wear a sombrero or fake mustache. Even if you're of mexican descent, it could send the wrong message: that we are caricatures. Even if you're the f****** POPE (yes he did, and it wasn't even Cinco de Mayo).
  4. Speak broken, messed up Spanish to people working at Mexican restaurants...they'll put up with it out of patience and a vested interest in making a good tip, not because they think it's cool that you're practicing on them (it's obnoxious, especially when you're drunk).
  5. Be the expert on Mexican tradition because you went there over spring break one're experience is valid, but it never makes you an expert on any subject (even if you out do everyone in the room by having lived there for a year, or a semester). Culture is larger than a college class or singular experience, it's an amalgamation of history, multitudes of shared experience and the nuance of family heritage across generations.
  1. Know what you're celebrating. Learn the history and cultural relevance of Cinco de Mayo. It's actually a really cool and inspiring story.
  2. Enjoy Mexican food, drink and entertainment without making a joke out of it, after you've learned about what it is you're actually celebrating.
Cinco de Mayo isn't a novel Holiday, it's not a joke. It's not "Mexican Day". It's not a day to enjoy Mexican culture while simultaneously degrading it. There's a real story behind it. There's a reason why it's celebrated. If you go out, ask yourself what it is that you intend on celebrating and why you are celebrating. Learn the history and answer those questions...THEN we can kick back and have a margarita, with respect to the holiday and the culture it comes from.


Unknown said...

Well said!

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